You are here:


The Master in Public Policy and the PhD in Population Health Sciences are two naturally synergistic educational programs that employ an interdisciplinary approach to meet the changing needs in their respective fields.  Studying health care policy in the context of the patient interaction with health systems, and learning about health systems and the impact policy has on direct care is both unique and important.  Together, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. 

By linking policy decisions to individual patients, diverse perspectives are brought to bear and disparities are address head on.  Dual degree students are provided with the knowledge and skills to affect change in both health care and health care systems.  By making informed policy decisions, health care disparities and diverse perspectives are brought to the forefront.  This exciting program creates an educational path that prepares students to investigate, analyze and inform public policy in the context of a health care delivery system and will train professionals who make experiential, data driven, informed policy decisions.

With increased emphasis on team-based scholarship, the Population Health Sciences department uses collaboration as a foundation to advance knowledge. The Department of Population Health Sciences was designed to complement, strengthen, and extend the capacity for scholarship across the University of Utah campus, including the Master of Public Policy program. Graduates are provided methodologic expertise and infrastructure that will advance impact-driven research and allow clinical professionals to provide better patient and population-oriented care in an increasingly complex health care delivery system. MPP/PhD in PHS students will drive health care transformation and provide expertise in health services, cost, quality, outcomes, and health delivery systems research.

Graduates of the MPP/PhD in Population Health Sciences are poised to be at the forefront of health care system changes by being trained in rigorous approaches to investigation and education in such areas as value-based patient outcomes, quality, new business and financial models, and health care delivery. Graduates will be poised to lead health care transformation scholarship and implementation and define health care for the future.


To apply for the joint degree program, students must submit separate admissions applications to the MPP and the PHS program meeting the requirements for each. Admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other. Students are encouraged to apply to both programs at the same time. Students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements for each program and be accepted into each program.

Degree Requirements

Students spend their first two years in the dual program completing the required MPP and health policy courses. During the third, fourth and fifth years, students take PHS courses. Upon completion of all requirements of both programs, students earn two separate degrees, a PhD degree awarded by the School of Medicine and a MPP degree awarded by the College of Social and Behavioral Science.


Sample Curriculum

YEAR 1 - Fall
PADMN 6320 - Public Policy Theories and Applications (3)
ECON 6300 - Public Finance (3)
FPMD 6100 - Biostatistics I (3) 

YEAR 1 - Spring
FPMD 6300 - Epidemiology I (3)
PADMN 6323 - Policy Analysis (3)
PUBPL 6563 - Policy and Program Evaluation (3) 

YEAR 2 - Fall
PUBPL 6965 - Survey Research Methods (3)
FPMD – Biostatistics II (3)
FPMD 7300- Epidemiology II (3)
PUBPL 6960 – Capstone Prep/ID (1) 

YEAR 2 – Spring
PUBPL 6950 - Applied Policy Project (3)
ECON 6380 - Law and Economics (3)
PHS 7000 – Biostatistics for Population Health Sciences (3) 

YEAR 3 - Fall
PHS 7200- Health Systems Research Methods (3)
PHS 7020- Analysis of Secondary Data (4)
PHS 7310- Comparative Health Systems Seminar Survey I (2) 

YEAR 3 – Spring
PHS 7315- Comparative Health System Survey I   (1)
PHS 7320- Comparative Health Systems Seminar II (1)
PHS 7325- Comparative Health Systems Survey II (1)
PHS 7330- Comparative Health Systems Seminar III (1)
PHS 7335- Comparative Health System Survey III                  (1)
PHS 7100- Foundations of Population And Clinical Health (Epi III) (3) 

YEAR 4 Fall
PADMN 6190- Health Policy (3)
ECON 6190- Health Economics (3)
MDCRC- Grant Writing   (3) 

YEAR 4 Spring
Directed Elective (3)
Dissertation Credits (6) 

YEAR 5 Fall
Dissertation Credits (8)

Last Updated: 11/21/16